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The Gospel According to Mark. Chapters 1-5

The Gospel According to Mark. Chapters 1-5

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 25, 2013
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I. By whom written. The author of this Gospel has been universally believed to beMark, or Marcus, designated in Acts 12 : 12, 25 ; 15 : 37, as John Mark, and in chap. 13 : 5,13, as John. — Abbott,II. When it was written. Upon this point nothing absolutely certain can be affirmed^and the Gospel itself affords us no information. The most direct testimony is that of Irenaeus, who says it was after the deaths of the apostles Peter and Paul. We may con-clude, therefore, that his Gospel was not written before A.D. 63. Again, we may as cer-tainly conclude that it was not written after the destruction of Jerusalem, for it is not likelythat he would have omitted to record so remarkable a fulfilment of our Lord^s predictions.Hence A.D. 63-70 become our limits, but nearer than this we cannot go. — Farrar,III. Where it was written. As to the place, the weight of testimony is uniformlyin favor of the belief that the Gospel was written and published at Rome. In this Clement,.Eusebius, Terome, Epiphanius, all agree. Chrysostom, indeed, asserts that it was publishedat Alexancfria ; but his statement receives no confirmation, as otherwise it could not fail tohave done, from any Alexandrine writer. — Farrar,IV. In what language. As to the language in which it was written, there never hasbeen any reasonable doubt that it was written in Greek.V. Sources of information. Mark was not one of the twelve, and there is no reasonto believe that he was an eye and ear witness of the events which he has recorded ; but analmost unanimous testimony of the early fathers indicates Peter as the source of his infor-mation. The most important of these testimonies is that of Papias, who says, '* He, thepresbyter (John), said : Mark, being the interpreter of Peter, wrote exactly whatever heremembered ; but he did not write in order the things which were spoken or done by Christ.For he was neither a hearer nor a follower of the D}rd, but, as I said, afterward followedPeter, who made his discourses to suit what was required, without the view of giving aconnected digest of the discourses of our Lord. Mark, therefore, made no mistakes whenhe wrote down circumstances as he recollected them ; for he was very careful of one thing,to omit nothing of what he heard, and to say nothing false in what he related." ThusPapias writes of Mark. This testimony is confirmed by other witnesses. — Abbott,VI. For whom it was written. The traditional statement is, that it was intendedprimarily for Gentiles, and especially for those at Rome. A review of the Gospel itself confirms this view. — Maclear,LIFE OF ST. MARK.1. Marcus was his Latin surname. His Jewish name was John, which is the same asTohanan (the grace o^ God). We can almost trace the steps whereby the former becamehis prevalent name in the Church. **yohnj whose surname was Mark" in Acts 12 : 12, 25;.151 37» becomes ^^ John" alone in Acts 13: 5, 13, ^^ Mark" m Acts 15: 39, and thence-forward there is no change, — Col. 4 : 10. Philem. 24. 2 Tim. 4:11.2. The Evangelist was the son of a certain Mary, a Jewish matron of some position,,who dwelt at Jerusalem (Acts 12: 12), and was probably born of a Hellenistic family inthat city* Of his father we know nothing ; but we do know that the future Evangelist was-cousin of Barnabas of Cyprus, the great friend of St. Paul.3. His mother would seem to be intimately acquainted with St. Peter ; and it was to-
her house, as to a familiar home, that the apostle repaired (A.D. 44) after his deliverancefrom prison (Acts 12:12). This fact accounts for St. Mark's intimate acquaintance withthat apostle, to whom also he probably owed his conversion, for St. Peter calls him ^''hir son" (I Pet. 5: 13).4. We hear of him for the first time in Acts 12 : 25, where we find him accompanying.Paul and Barnabas on their return from Jerusalem to Antioch, A.D. 45.5. He next comes before us on the occasion of the earliest missionary journey of thesame apostles; A.D. 48, when he joined them as their "minister " (Acts 13 : 5).6. We find him by Paul's side during his first imprisonment at Rome, A.D. 61-63 ;and he is acknowledged by him as one of his few fellow-laborers who had been a " comfort"to him during the weary hours of his imprisonment (Col. 4 : 10, 11. Philem. 24).7. We next have traces of him in i Pet. 5 : 13 : "The church that is in Babylon . . .saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son." From this we infer that he joined his spiritualfather, the great friend of his mother, at Babylon, then and for some hundred years after-wards one of the chief seats of Jewish culture. From Babylon he would seem to havereturned to Asia Minor; for during his second imprisonment, A.D. 68, St. Paul, writing toTimothy, charges him to bring Mark with him to Rome, on the ground that he was ^* profit--able unto him for the ministry" (2 Tim. 4:11). From this point we gain no further information from the New Testament respecting the Evangelist. It is most probable,however, that he did join the Apostle at Rome, whither also St. Peter would seem to have,proceeded, and suffered martyrdom along with St. Paul. After the death of these tworreat pillars of the Church, ecclesiastical tradition affirms that St. Mark visited Egypt^ounded the Church of Alexandria, and died by martyrdom. — Cambridge Bible for Schools.IFIRST QUARTER.From January i» to March a6, z88a.LESSON L— January i.THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL. — Mark 1:1-13.GOLrDEN TEXT. — Behold^ I will send my messenger , and he shall prepare the waybefore me, — Mal. 3 : i.TIME. — John the Baptist was born about June, B.C. 5; Jesus was bom aboutDecember, B. C. ^ ; the preaching of John the Baptist was during the summer and autumnof A. D. 26 ; the baptism of Jesus by John in January, A. D. 27 ; the temptation in thewilderness in January and February, A. D. 27.PLACE. — The preaching of John the Baptist was in the wilderness of Judea, — awild, hilly, thinly-inhabited region (not a desert) lying west of the Dead Sea and theLower Jordan. John's ministry extended as far north as Enon, near Salim, two-thirds of the way up the Jordan from the Dead Sea. The baptism of Jesus was doubtless at thefords of the Jordan, called Bethabara, five miles north-east of Jericho. The temptation-occurred probably in the northern part of the wilderness of Judea, between Jerusalem
and Jericho on the west, and the Jordan and the upper part of the Dead Sea on the eastTradition places it in Mount Quarantania, near the Jordan, so named because Jesus issupposed to have passed his forty days fasting in one of its caves.RULERS. — Tiberius Cesar, emperor of Rome ; John's preaching began in his 13thyear as sole ruler ; Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea (first year) ; Herod Antipas, of Galilee and Perea (30th year) ; Herod Philip, of Trachonitis, Idumea, and the northernregions beyond Jordan.CONTEMPORARY HISTORY.— The Roman Empire held sway over nearlyall the known world. It was a general time of peace, with slight wars only on the fron-tiers. Greece was subject to Rome politically, but ruled still intellectually, the schoolof literature and art. She was crowded with temples and statues, and her schools of philosophy and rhetoric were flourishing. According to Labberton's Outlines^ this was atime of remarkable intellectual activity. Horace and Virgil had died but a few yearsbefore. Diodorus Siculus the Greek historian, Strabo the Greek geographer (B. C. 54- A. D. 24), Ovid (B. C. 43-A. D. 18), Livy (B. C. 59-A. D. 17), and Seneca, who died A. D.65,, were living during the life of Christ.'parallel ACCOUNTS. — The ministry of John in the wilderness (vers. 1-8)is described also in Matt. 3 : 1-12, and Luke 3 : 1-18. The baptism of Jesus (vers. Q-ii)in Matt 3: 13-17, and Luke 3: 21-23. The temptation of Jesus (vers. 12, 13) in Matt.4:1-11, and Luke 4 : 1-13. A view of the whole ministry of John from another standpointis given in John i : 5-51.INTRODUCTION.For the life of Mark and an account of his Gospel, when» where, and for whom written,and its characteristics and contents, see General Introduction.The object of Mark being to relate the official life and ministry of our Lord, he beginswith his baptism^ and, as a necessary introduction to it, with the precuhing of John theBaptist. — Alford. As not essential for this object, the few facts which are recorded in the first two chap-ters of the Gospels by St. Matthew and St. Luke are omitted. — Godwin.15Digitized byGoogleMark i : 1-13. LESSON I. First Quarter.1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, * theSon of God;2. As it is written in the prophets, 'Behold, I sendmy messenger before thy face, which shall preparethy way before thee.

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